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Hailey's Pitch (MG, Sports)


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#1 scubasteve4

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 04:53 PM

Update on 67


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#2 JMB

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 05:44 PM

This made me feel very setimental. Nice story and well written query IMO.

#3 Al N

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 09:54 AM

Hi scubasteve4, Your query draft got me.

I was an awards judge, so I understand sorting through a pile of entries looking for the good ones. When you send out real queries, be ready for positive responses. If I were an agent, I’d request to see the manuscript.

Presentation format – it is great – even the order of the goals has a nice flow to it. My only suggestion is use indented headings with bullets or dashes, which indicate unordered (even though there is an apparent order).

Your last sentence -- But she really loses it when a uniformed man appears from the dugout. This would have more punch if you either changed ‘appears’ to ‘steps’ (man steps from) or changes ‘from’ to ‘in’ (man appears in).

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#4 Lanette Kauten

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 12:11 PM

This is perfect, Steve. I don't read MG and I don't read sports stories, but I want to read your novel.

#5 JeanMalone

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 12:59 PM

I love it. Very nicely done. I like that you don't explain right away why you called her one-armed. It made me think "wait, did I read that right?" and really want to keep reading, and it shows me a lot about the character.

#6 scubasteve4

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 05:25 PM

Down for revision.

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#7 Malz

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:02 AM

Scubasteve,

Even if this is just a practice run, after reading your query it definitely makes me intrigued and wanting to read this story. Your MC's problems are spelled out in a cool manner and the query isn't bogged down with unnecessary plot details. I especially liked the last line of the query. Nice job. Your revisions will be a cakewalk.
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#8 JMB

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 06:34 AM

I'd ditch the bullet points and go back to a series standalone sentences. It sounded like a good idea when I saw the suggestions but it isn't really working for me in print. Get back to the wriitng desk and finish the MS already! Good luck with it.

#9 scubasteve4

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 08:27 AM

Best advice yet, JMB—for me to get back to work! I’m going to stash this query for a while and I’ll relook at it and repost it when my manuscript is polished and ready. So your time is better spent critiquing the work of other AQCers. Many thanks!!

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#10 patskywriter

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 03:23 PM

Excellent idea for a story! I was baseball-crazy when I was a little girl. I was an avid reader and had to settle for boys' books when I was a kid. I remember the school librarian frowning at me whenever I checked out yet another book aimed at boys. Back in my day, girls didn't do much, at least not in the books I plowed through at my school. I would have loved books like yours!

I'm hoping that Hailey bats right-handed. If she chokes up she'll have better control over the bat and she'll have more power, as she'll actually be backhanding the ball. (Remember that female tennis player who revolutionized the game with a baseball-style, two-handed backhand?) Hailey can use part of her right arm to balance the bat while waiting for the pitch. (Sorry for the overenthusiasm. There was no "baseball for girls" in my day, but that didn't stop me from becoming a baseball coach when I was a teen. :biggrin: )

For what it's worth, I kinda like the bulleted items. They remind me of the rapid-fire manner of sports reporting.
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#11 scubasteve4

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 03:26 PM

Correct. Jim Abbott actually hit a triple in a Spring Training game. How cool is that?

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#12 Cheryl B. Dale

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 05:18 PM

Yeah, I agree with JMB re losing the bullet points. I also think there are a lot of 'it' repetitions, some of which could be avoided. And this seems more of a synopsis than a query with the ending paragraph telling the outcome. Not that that's a bad thing, necessarily. Esp when it's a MG ms of only 45000 words.

Definitely on the right track.

Just my opinion.

#13 Cat Woods

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:09 PM

I'm sold.

I'd actually pare it down. I'd tighten your bullet sentences into a one sentence, three sentence, one sentence series of paragraphs and leave off the ending paragraph altogether. But you know me and my penchant for short and sweet.

Also, let me know when you're ready to beta this.

Seriously.

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#14 RC Lewis

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 01:17 PM

I'm with Cat. Tightening the structure of the bullet sentences to 1-3-1 will help with flow and emphasis, and I feel like the last paragraph takes it a bit TOO far into the story. I already want to read by the time I get to the Cancer sentence. Everything after that feels superfluous.

Sounds like a great read! :smile:
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#15 scubasteve4

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 08:42 PM

Thanks.

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#16 Ambiguous_A

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:54 AM

I like that you're experimenting with a different format, but for me I'm tired of the "It's tos" after the third one. I would cut the line: "If anyone could accomplish such lofty goals, it’s Hailey." That's just telling. Also, you present us with all the things that go wrong, but not Hailey's choices in regards to them. What's she going to do? What can she do? If you add that at the end, I think it will really grab an agent. It sounds like a cute story!

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#17 scubasteve4

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:50 AM

Good points, all.

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#18 Nathan Hart

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 02:47 PM

Although it breaks the mold, I like it. Sounds interesting.
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#19 Jemi

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 03:01 PM

I like the approach - unique which can be awesome or a killer. I'm thinking yours is at the awesome end. :smile: A nitpick I have is 'her goal extends' and then you list 5 goals. I think you should make the first bit 'her goals extend'. I think you could probably eliminate the 'it's to' at the beginning of each line as well. See if it works for you if you start with the verb.

When one-handed pitcher, twelve-year-old Hailey takes the mound, her goal extends beyond striking out Little Leaguers.

It’s to make her dad, who can’t coach her team because he is serving overseas, proud. (Maybe... Make her dad proud while he serves overseas)

It’s to make two bullies from an opposing team sorry they ever messed with her.

It’s to bond with the catcher, the boy she’s crushing on but is too shy to tell.

It’s to lead her team to the tournament championship game, which will be played at a Minor League stadium. (I'd be tempted to eliminate that phrase to improve the flow)

It’s to show Cancer that while it took her right hand, it didn’t touch her spirit and keep her from playing the game she loves.

If anyone could accomplish such lofty goals, it’s Hailey. But, as Hailey knows all too well, (maybe eliminate that & the next one too) sometimes life doesn’t turn out as planned. Days before the championship game, her world is crumbling: her dad’s tour is extended; her best friend smooches the boy she digs; her dog goes missing in the woods; and her bullies are bent on vicious payback.

Part nail-biting baseball, part camping adventure, STEALING HOME is 45,000-word Middle Grade novel featuring a protagonist who is all heart. May I send you an excerpt or the full manuscript? Thank you for your consideration.


Those are just some streamlining nitpicks. Feel free to ignore them if they don't work for you. Hope that helps you out a bit - good luck with it. Sounds like a great story. :smile:

#20 scubasteve4

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 05:17 PM

Down for revision.

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